This week, we’re beginning our review of the Justices’ individual voting records in tort cases, beginning with senior Associate Justice Ming Chin.
Through the end of 2019, Justice Chin has participated in 149 tort cases. He has voted for the defendants’ position 84 times and has voted for tort plaintiffs 65 times. Between 1997 and 2004, Justice Chin voted for tort defendants 46 times and for plaintiffs in 32 cases. Between 2005 and 2008, Justice Chin split his votes almost evenly – 14 for defendants, 12 for plaintiffs. From 2009 to 2012, he voted for tort defendants in 15 of 22 cases, but since that time, he has shifted towards plaintiffs – 9 votes for defendants, 14 for plaintiffs.
In the next Table, we review Justice Chin’s votes with respect to decisions won by the defendant at the Court of Appeal. Across his entire tenure, Justice Chin has voted to affirm defendants’ Court of Appeal wins 39 times and voted to reverse in 28 cases. Between 1997 and 2000, he voted to affirm 11 tort decisions won by the defendant below and voted to reverse 7 times. Between 2001 and 2006, he voted to affirm in 12 of 20 cases involving defendants’ wins from the Court of Appeal. In the following six years, he voted to affirm in 10 of 17 cases. From 2013 through last year, Justice Chin split his votes evenly with respect to decisions won below by defendants – six to affirm, six to reverse.
Finally, we review Justice Chin’s votes in tort cases lost by the defendants below. Through last year, Justice Chin voted to reverse in 45 cases lost by tort defendants at the Court of Appeal and voted to affirm 35 times. From 1997 to 2000, he voted to reverse in 15 of 23 defendants’ losses. From 2001 to 2006, he voted to reverse 12 times and to affirm tort defendants’ losses 12 times. Between 2007 and 2012, Justice Chin voted to reverse in 15 of 22 cases lost by tort defendants below. Since 2013, he has voted to reverse only three of eleven tort decisions lost by the defendants at the Court of Appeal.
In our next post, we’ll address Justice Corrigan’s voting record in tort cases.